KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Indians had won just twice in their first 11 games against left-handed starters this season, and were forced to face Royals lefty Danny Duffy on the mound Wednesday night.
They didn't have to look at him for long.
Just about everyone in the Cleveland lineup drove in a run as the Indians knocked Duffy from the game in the second inning, eventually cruising to a 10-3 victory over Kansas City.
"You're not going to score five or six runs every night," said Brandon Moss, who homered and added a two-run double to lead the charge. "But the last two weeks we've been a good bit better."
Six other Indians also drove in runs, helping Carlos Carrasco (4-2) end a three-game skid against the Royals. He gave up a two-run homer to Kendrys Morales, but otherwise shut down a Kansas City lineup that returned hot-hitting outfielder Lorenzo Cain from a two-game suspension.
Carrasco allowed five hits while striking out six in seven innings.
"I felt good before the game," he said. "Just felt like it was going to be a good day."
Cleveland had already taken a 4-0 lead when Duffy (2-1) was yanked after facing five batters without getting an out in the second. The Royals' bullpen briefly slowed the onslaught, but the Indians added four more runs in the seventh to put the game away.
"I really just didn't do my job today is what it came down to," Duffy said. "I left the bullpen hanging and put the boys in a bad position. They weren't able to be comfortable."
Duffy was uncomfortable right from the start.
Carlos Santana scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, and the Indians banged out four more hits around a hit batter in the second to chase Duffy.
Nick Swisher led off with a single, his first hit since returning from knee surgery last August. Mike Aviles was hit by a pitch, Lonnie Chisenhall doubled to drive in a run, and Brett Hayes and Jason Kipnis added back-to-back RBI singles to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.
Duffy actually plunked two batters, nailing Ryan Raburn in the first inning. The lefty also allowed six hits without a strikeout in one of the worst outings of his career.
"He never got on track. He never got on sync," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Santana added a sacrifice fly off reliever Brandon Finnegan in the fourth, but Kansas City's stingy bullpen kept the Indians from extending their lead for a while.
Morales even started to whittle into it with his two-run shot in the fourth.
The Royals looked as though they were going to take another gouge out of the lead in the sixth when Eric Hosmer ripped an RBI double down the left-field line. Morales walked to put runners on first and second, but Carrasco got Salvador Perez to ground out, ending the threat.
The Indians then added four more runs off Franklin Morales in the seventh.
"That was a big swing there, where Carlos holds them and then we score," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That's the way we've got to play because they're a good team."
Just about the only good news for Kansas City was the return of reliever Greg Holland from the disabled list. He'd been out since April 18 with a strained pectoral muscle.
The Indians made sure the All-Star closer wasn't a factor.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, who had been 2 for 17 in his career against Carrasco, struck out in each of his four at-bats against him. Two of the strikeouts ended innings.
Indians: Well-traveled LHP Bruce Chen will start Saturday against Minnesota in place of T.J. House, who's on the DL with a sore left shoulder.
Royals: C Erik Kratz (plantar fasciitis) went on the DL, retroactive to Sunday. C Francisco Pena was recalled from Triple-A Omaha, striking out in his first major league at-bat.
Indians: AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (0-4, 4.62 ERA) tries to straighten out his season in the series finale. He lost to the Royals on April 27.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez (2-3) tries to improve on his 2.10 ERA, seventh-best in the American League. He's 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA at home this season.